July 18, 2021
Most people have heard of human trafficking, but few can define it. Even experts in law enforcement and academia can have a hard time quantifying the problem.
The new Human Trafficking Collaborative website, developed by faculty at the University of Michigan School of Nursing and the U-M Law School, was created to dispel myths about human trafficking and to train health care providers to recognize and treat victims.
Michelle Munro-Kramer, the Suzanne Bellinger Feethan Professor of Nursing at the School of Nursing, and Bridgette Carr, an associate dean and director of the Human Trafficking Clinic at the Law School, developed the project for those who would like to learn more about human trafficking. This forced or compelled service takes two primary forms: labor trafficking and sex trafficking.
In addition to the website, which launched this month, there is a continuing education module that meets state of Michigan training requirements for health care providers and videos documenting survivor and provider experiences.
The module is intended to help health care professionals identify and respond to survivors of human trafficking using a preplanned, comprehensive approach, so professionals know exactly what to do before a victim walks through the door, Munro-Kramer said.
There are also resources, such as sample screening policies and response procedures, that could be used at a health system level. Website content was informed by a statewide survey of federally qualified health centers, health departments and hospitals statewide.
“We know both from studies and from the experiences of my clients that health care providers are on the frontlines of combating human trafficking,” said Carr, whose law clinic provides free legal services for survivors of trafficking.
“My clients have shared how invisible they feel when they see a health care provider, and on the inside they are screaming for help but say nothing. This training is a tremendous opportunity for us to share our expertise with front-line health care workers in hopes of identifying more victims of human trafficking.”
Read the full story on University of Michigan News
July 29, 2019
The caution came from Cindy McCain, a leading voice of the topic from the US, on the final day of the International Council of Nurses’ congress in Singapore this week.
Addressing more than 5,000 nurse delegates from around the world, Ms McCain, co-chair of the Arizona Governor’s council on human trafficking, highlighted the importance of nurses receiving training on how to spot the red flags for human trafficking, a form of modern slavery in which people are traded for the purpose of exploitation such as forced labor or prostitution.
Issuing a “call to action,” Ms McCain, who is also board chair of the McCain Institute for International Leadership think tank, and widow of former US senator, John McCain, said: “You are on the frontlines; you are leaders and opinionators; unless you are educated on signs of human trafficking, we won’t win this.”
She added: “It is critical we put human trafficking assessment tools in the hands of as many health practitioners as possible.”
Her talk took place on the same day that the ICN launched a new pamphlet called ‘Human trafficking, the basics of what nurses need to know’, which describes the types of human trafficking, general signs to look out for, and which actions to take if human trafficking is suspected.
Speaking alongside Ms McCain was Kevin Hyland, member of the Council of Europe independent group of experts for trafficking and former independent anti-slavery commissioner for the UK.
During the session Mr Highland asked Ms McCain why nurses were absent from some of the decision-making processes and discussions on the subject of human trafficking.
To read the full story by Gemma Mitchell on Nursing Times: Click Here
February 14, 2019
At the moment, Michigan might be best known for the extreme cold temperatures, snow, and ice it is facing, but to Danielle Jordan Bastein, an ER nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan is also known for something far more dangerous:
But now, thanks to a new screening protocol that she implemented while a student at Wayne State University, Bastein is fighting back — and working to help trafficked individuals before it’s too late.
What Does Human Trafficking Have to Do with Hospitals?
In an article with Fox 2 News Detroit, Bastein explained that a large majority of trafficked individuals come into contact with health care workers at some point during their trafficking, but shockingly, very few of them are actually identified by healthcare staff. One study found that approximately half of all trafficked individuals (mostly women and female children) do see a healthcare worker at some point during their exploitation. In fact, healthcare workers are the most likely of any profession to come into initial contact with a trafficked girl or woman, so even the National Conference of State Legislatures has identified healthcare workers as a key first-line defense against trafficking.
So, what are we missing here?
Well, in Bastein’s eyes, we are missing out on crucial screening protocol and training that would ensure that emergency room triage nurses are able to routinely ask the right questions and do the right assessment that would flag a potential trafficking victim for further follow-up. Her screening tool looks for patterns of inconsistencies in the patient’s story, abuse, torture, or neglect signs, and other behaviors consistent with trafficking victims, such as if they aren’t holding their own ID or money, or if the person they are with is answering questions for them and refuses to leave or let them be alone.
To read the full story by Chaunie Brusie on Nurse.org: Click Here